Well over 100 people joined us for our special INDOOR edition of Walk with a Doc at the FlatIron Crossing Mall last Saturday. Since the walk took place before the mall opened for shoppers, our cheery crew had the run – or rather, the brisk walk – of the vast empty space, which felt like a special treat.

We gathered in the Food Court, warmed by a massive natural-gas fire pit, to enjoy the usual coffee and snacks along with this Walk’s special features: BCH’s Clinical Education team teaching simple hands-only CPR and BCH’s Clinical Pharmacy team answering medication-related questions at the Ask a Pharmacist table.

Dr. Nelson Trujillo of Boulder Heart took on a tough topic: Plant-Based Diet and Heart Health. In his customary insouciant and irreverent style, he challenged the crowd to question their beliefs that we need to eat meat, chicken or fish or cheese to be healthy, or that eating an egg every day is good for everyone. “We want to believe that,” he said. “We want to think that the many studies that show eating a vegetarian or vegan diet lowers risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and most major diseases is fake news.”

Making the point that early humans ate mostly plants and roots (eggs and meat only as a rare treat) and that our DNA has not changed much since then, he encouraged walkers not to have “Contempt before investigation.” Sharing his own experience, he said a vegan diet had recently helped him feel better and lose weight without much effort. Then he threw down a challenge: Try 30 days of plant-based eating, until the next Walk with a Doc on March 9.

He offered these general plant-based diet tips:
1. Eat whole foods. Avoid packaged and processed foods.
2. It is okay to eat a three-egg omelet or a cheeseburger every once in a while. But it’s best as an occasional treat.
3. For plant-based eating plans and more, check out the Forks Over Knives website.

After that somewhat-hard-to-stomach advice, we walked together around the mall at a quick pace. Scores of people stayed afterwards to practice CPR techniques on blow-up head-and-torso dummys with our enthusiastic Clinical Education team members, who led them in a chorus of the Bee Gee’s “Staying Alive” to help them know when to push (pretty fast and hard)!

The Bolder Boulder 10K team was also there, sharing news of ongoing work to have a dedicated Walk with a Doc wave at the upcoming race on Memorial Day in May. Stay tuned for more details.

Join us for our next Walk with a Doc on Saturday, March 9, at North Boulder Park (2848 9th Street in Boulder) from 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Amie Meditz, MD, of the Beacon Center for Infectious Diseases and Dr. Chris Zielenski with Clinical Pharmacy will talk about “Pointers for Preventing Infections.”
See you there! Find more details at: bch.org/walkwithadoc.